Federal budget could create problem for Suffolk social services

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WYANDANCH -

Social services advocates say they are worried about what the proposed federal budget will mean for essential programs in Suffolk County. 

The proposed 2018 federal budget includes some $2.9 trillion in cuts over the next decade to key social programs, including food stamps, college grants and affordable housing, according to members of the Suffolk County Welfare to Work Commission.

Critics of the budget say cuts in federal spending could end up costing Suffolk County even more down the road. 

"Suffolk County has to pick up the tab for what the federal government doesn't want to finance," says Richard Koubek, chairman of the Welfare to Work Commission. 

Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin, who voted for the budget, says the commission got its facts wrong. In a written statement, Zeldin said, "Their numbers are grossly off and flat out false by a ridiculously large amount."

Dadyamarie Negron is a working mom raising her three boys in Wyandanch. She say she benefited from an affordable housing program that allowed her to work and attend school. She says politicians on Capitol Hill should take a minute to put themselves in her shoes.

"What would they do if from one day to another they would find themselves in a position where they cannot afford a home or the rent," asks Negron. 

Republican Rep. Peter King has already declared his opposition to the proposed budget. The issue will be up for a full vote in December.

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